Matching up for the fourth and final time this year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers collide at Madison Square Garden in a divisional tilt. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the matchup, and the action gets going at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 14.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers Odds
Pittsburgh (-180) is currently favored over New York (+160), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-135 to bet the over, +115 for the under).
Pittsburgh is 40-30 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.2 units this year. 38 of its contests have gone over the total, while 30 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team this season, the Pens are 14-21 SU.
Pittsburgh currently touts the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 25.9 percent of its extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 81.3 percent of its penalties.
The Pens, as a collective unit, have been whistled for penalties 4.1 times per game during the 2017-18 season, and 4.8 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Matt Murray (25-16-2) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to rest him, however, Pittsburgh could turn to Tristan Jarry (14-11-2 record, .910 save percentage, 2.76 goals against average).
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (87 points) has tallied 39 goals and 48 assists, and has recorded multiple points 22 times. Kessel has 28 goals and 50 assists to his creditand has logged at least one point in 48 games.
New York is 31-39 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.1 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 37 of its contests have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 19-17 SU as the home team this year.
The Rangers have converted on just 20.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.6 percent of all opponent power plays.
Rangers players have been called for penalties only 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Henrik Lundqvist (29.2 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for the Rangers. Lundqvist has 25 wins, 33 losses, and six overtime losses to his name and has recorded a .916 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average this season.
Mats Zuccarello (14 goals, 34 assists) will lead the attack for the Broadway Blueshirts.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under
- New York is 3-5 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-2 in shootouts.
- The over has hit in three of New York’s last five games.
- Over Pittsburgh’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 4-2 in those games).
- Pittsburgh skaters have dished out the sixth-most hits in the league (24.1 per game), but the team’s averaged just 20.8 hits over their last five away games.